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The Paradox of Anger

We live in a world that is increasingly becoming unpredictable and out of control. Losing control invites negative feelings such as fear, anxiety, and loss of self-confidence.

The paradox of anger results from our sense of losing control. Yet when we get angry we lose more control. We behave in a way that heaves more anger and thus further losing control.

The vicious self-reinforcing cycle of anger has a great negative impact on us. We lose our calm to think with sound reasoning. It also deprives us to think creatively and find new alternatives or better solutions.

The effects of the anger paradox are multi-dimensional. We lose hope and despair fills our hearts. It is futile to continue behaving this way. So, what is the way out?

The antidote to anger that breaks its vicious cycle is patience. This is a virtue that we need to restore. With the hastening pace of life.

The tendency to go faster to chase the pace of change is a losing race. Patience is the way to go. It allows us to be hopeful. Hope is the motivator for us to keep moving. It builds our faith in ourselves that failures are only obstacles on the road leading to our success.

Emotions do not work in isolation. Patience brings hope and gratitude. Patience brings other positive feelings that energize us.

As fear brings other negative feelings patience works in the opposite direction by enriching our positive feelings.

Patience is to say my time shall come and not I am running out of time. It gives us the feeling that we can control ourselves if we cannot control the external environment. This in turn brings new insights and fresher hope. We can then decide on our next steps.

The root of virtues is patience.

Do not let the paradox of anger take control of your life.

Your insights are warmly invited.

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Ali Anani
Ali Ananihttps://www.bebee.com/@ali-anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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8 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Absolutely agree with these brilliant reflections on anger and patience.
    It is essential to recognize anger when it emerges for what it is, that is a protection mechanism that signals to us that something is wrong, that our rights have been violated, our real needs disregarded. Anger expresses a reaction of intense dissatisfaction, of frustration, that is, it acts as an alarm signal.
    Listening to one’s anger helps us to know our real needs, our values, helps us to be more authentic to ourselves and to maintain more authentic relationships with the people around us.
    Anger signals us something important for our balance. Indulged without control, anger is the spark that turns confrontation into a clash. Repressed, it is the ice curtain in which resentment solidifies. Here patience becomes necessary to regain control (some time ago I wrote an article on patience on Bizcatalyst 360).
    Patience is a virtue that is not always easy to cultivate consistently, especially in a competitive and fast world like the one we live in today. Yet being patient is a win-win for those who want to reach the top.
    Patience is not endurance. Nor resignation. It is realism moved by the optimism of the will. And from the search for good relationships with others.
    Patience is not enduring in silence, as defeated or hypocritical, but it is a light lit by the optimism of the will. An anti-waste measure, against the waste of thrust, evanescent, inconclusive acceleration. Patience reminds us of the need to face time with a method that also helps to strengthen relationships, bonds, altruism.

    • Great comment my friend Aldo.

      You present very interesting thoughts on anger that enrich the post.

      The signals that you explained anger expresses are so real.

      “Anger expresses a reaction of intense dissatisfaction, of frustration, that is, it acts as an alarm signal
      Anger signals us something important for our balance. Indulged without control, anger is the spark that turns confrontation into a clash”

      Yes, and we all should be aware of these two signals.

      This brings us to what you highlighted about patience
      “Patience is not endurance. Nor resignation. It is realism moved by the optimism of the will. And from the search for good relationships with others”.

      You linked the will of patience to deal with the signals of anger in a new perspective.

  2. Brother Ali
    An interesting treatise. I certainly agree that much damage is caused by “losing control” and acting out anger.

    I think anger comes from different places in each of us -for some it is a response to a lack f respect for oneself or others, a response to a denial to treat ourselves or others fairly and with compassion. For some others anger is triggered by even innocnt words or events that remind them of unresolved past hurts. For others anger is always at the self however outward it is directed. Some use anger, even very realistically feigned anger, to manipulate others. That just makes me angry.

    Anger is an emotion and I don’t think the answer is ever telling oneself not to feel an emotion. Your council of patience – the proverbial “count to ten” is good in that it gives one time to explore the cause of anger, to stem any loss of control, but if the ten seconds are used to craft the perfect eviscerating verbal response – well that may just escalate an already bad situation.

    For me, rampantly counterdependent soul that I am, anger comes from a power differential, someone in power not recognizing my inherent worth, my children not recognizing my superior beneficence. 😉

    So for me, the best use of the patient ten seconds is to forgive any transgression to my ego and consider what I might learn. For the record, I hit that goal about 30% of the time, 50% if you count my forehead slapping post-outburst realizations that lead me to say “Sorry, I think I overreacted.”

    Talking out the circumstances which provoked my anger with the person involved, sometimes works for me. I almost always try that approach, but it does take “two to tango,” so to speak. Both have to start from a space of forgiveness and be open to hearing “my part of the problem.”

    • Brother Alan,

      cCuses of anger are variant and come for different reasons and sources- as you highlighted. Why do we get angry share often same reason and that is lack of control in its broad meaning.
      This you shared in your comment “For me, rampantly counterdependent soul that I am, anger comes from a power differential, someone in power not recognizing my inherent worth”. Thinking about it is lack of doing what you want that angers you more than the person in authority.

      That we have the right to get angry is natural. How do we react is within some control at least assuming that we do not allow anger to reach a point on no return and reach an extreme. This you explained so well “Anger is an emotion and I do not think the answer is ever telling oneself not to feel an emotion. Your council of patience”.

      Thank you brother for engaging my mind

  3. Anger doesn’t equal losing control. That is a fallacy among the emotionally challenged. When you are in touch with all your emotions, anger is no different from other emotions and it signals that our values or boundaries are being challenged.

    The reason anger has such bad reputation is that in too many cases people are not in touch with their emotions – they have put a lid on them and pretend to be calm even when they are not. That creates a pressure cooker that only anger has enough energy to break through – and as happens when pressure builds up and breaks through, it is uncontrolled and messy. Had we acknowledged the pinches and listened to our body earlier, we might have had time to understand which boundaries or values were challenged and could have responded more artfully and probably with better effect.

    And yes, one response might have been to stay patient. Another might have been to realize that it actually is not about the current situation at all but a carry over from earlier events. Or events with other people. Or “upsetness” with ourselves because we have been patient for too long and has allowed people to take advantage of us. Or that we have allowed ourselves to behave against our values rather than rock the boat. As Roger Martin wisely said “Tension comes if we are not doing our identity.”

    So another remedy against anger is curiosity about why we are upset.

    • Thank you Charlotte for your challenging comment and that I based this post believing a common “fallacy”. I am referring to “Anger doesn’t equal losing control. That is a fallacy among the emotionally challenged.”

      I understand well that many researchers attributed anger to lack of control and I accepted this for a reason.
      Suppose I am driving on a fast lane and the driver in front me is delaying me with his slow driving. I try to avoid him and find it very risky to change my lane. I get angry because I lost my control to drive fast enough to attend a meeting on time.

      So, I think losing control is a prime source of anger. The more i lose control the angrier I become. The energy of anger is chaotic and so my actions shall be. This leads to all the possible reactions to anger that you presented in the last paragraph of your comment. On this, I agree with you fully.

    • Excellent clarification, Ali, because losing control has two meanings and we used it differently. I read it as loss of self-control, you wrote in the meaning of control of the situation.

      The situation you described – getting angry because you couldn’t be where you wanted to be in time caused by a slow driver – has a deeper layer. If you were not in a hurry, you had lost control just as much, but you would perhaps not have become angry?

    • In my post “Honesty as Purifier,” which I published on LI, I ended it with “I see honesty as a purifier. If a friend or a reader leaves because of my honesty I would rather lose the friendship and keep my honesty.

      I view honesty as soul purifier. Those who leave me because of my being honest with them do not deserve my honesty.”

      I give you the same right, Charlotte. I thank you for your honesty and also for clarifying the fog of misunderstanding.

      I am in full agreement with you.

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